Saturday, May 7, 2016

Remote Access with the Attainment Switch App!

In previous posts I’ve discussed the many advantages of using a remote switch to activate ASbyS animations on your interactive whiteboard (IWB). When using a remote switch setup (either wired or wireless) students are able to take turns activating the PowerPoint animations from their seat, rather than requiring students to approach and tap the IWB.

I’m always looking for new ways to establish remote switch access … so you can imagine my delight in finding a way to use an iPad as a switch to trigger ASbyS animations on the Interactive Whiteboard! Yes, I was excited to discover yet another wireless option, but even more excited to discover that this option costs a grand total of $4.99 … provided you already own an iPad!

Using the Attainment Switch App ($4.99; installed on the iPad) and the Attainment Switch Interface Helper (free; installed on the IWB computer), a tap on the iPad screen (accompanied by a click sound) will produce the click necessary for triggering animations on the IWB. Both your interactive whiteboard computer and your iPad MUST share the same internet connection.

iPad Used as a Remote Switch to Trigger Animation on a Smart Board

Set Up:

On the mac/win computer:

Download the Attainment Switch Interface Helper App (free).

Open the Attainment Switch Interface Helper App
Note: if you have security set high on your Mac computer, you may need to hold down control when you click on the application icon.

When you open the application, a dialog box will appear that allows you to set the iPad up to function as a switch.

The program allows two switches (or buttons). We only need to set up switch/Button 1.

Button 1
Select the switch image that will be displayed on the iPad. The program presents graphics of many commonly used switches but I like to display a star when using an Animated Step-by-Step. When using an ASbyS, the presence of a star on the PowerPoint slide, signifies a need to click to activate the animation. Rather than selecting one of the switch images offered, I select Custom then click on the (… button) to navigate to an image of a star that I created for this purpose. This strategy helps to establish a stronger link between the stars seen on the PowerPoint slide and the act of pressing the star on the iPad to trigger the animations.

Next, select the key to send, i.e., the keystroke that will be recognized by the computer every time the iPad is pressed. When using an Animated Step-by-Step, the required keystroke is enter.

Button 2
As we only need one switch to trigger the animations for our ASbySs, uncheck the Enabled box for button 2

On your iPad

Go to the App Store.
Search for the Attainment Switch App.
Purchase and download the Attainment Switch App ($4.99)

Open up the Attainment Switch App.
If you have already opened up the Attainment Switch Interface Helper app on your computer, your computer’s name should appear in the computers and devices box (in my case, Carol’s Macbook Pro). Don’t forget both your iPad and your computer must share the same WiFi.

Select the switch image that will appear on the iPad, i.e., star

So if you own an iPad and you want to establish remote access for your interactive whiteboard, the Attainment Switch App is probably your easiest and most inexpensive way to do so. 

Many thanks to Julie Denu of Attainment for bringing this wonderful option to my attention.

…’til the next post …  (new posts every Monday)

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©2016 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator